Arizona State travels on the road for the first time all season after two dominating wins to open up the season. They travel to the Midwest to face an SEC opponent in the Missouri Tigers. The Tigers are hoping to rebound after a disappointing loss to Georgia last Saturday, while the Devils are hoping to carry their momentum after another impressive victory over Illinois, 45-14. ASU is fighting for a top 25 berth, while Missouri is fighting to keep their season alive.
Who to Watch
QB Taylor Kelly (Soph.) – Kelly has been nothing less than brilliant in his first two games as a starter. Now he travels for his first road game into hostile territory. The question for Kelly is whether he keeps doing what he has done with his short passes or if he tries to make too many plays and turns the ball over.
TE Chris Coyle (Jr.)- Coyle had his coming-out game when he had 10 catches and two scores last week. Now that defenses know that he is Kelly’s favorite weapon, will Coyle be able to have a huge impact on the offense like he did against Illini?
DT Will Sutton (Jr.) – Sutton leads the defensive line that has been dominant against opposing offensive lines. He had 3.0 tackles-for-loss and a sack against the Illini and will have to be able to pressure Missouri’s quarterback for the ASU defense to get turnovers.
QB James Franklin (Jr.) – Franklin is by far the most complete quarterback that ASU will have faced this year. He is a dual-threat quarterback, as he threw almost 2,900 yards last year with 21 TDs while also rushing for almost a 1,000 yards and 15 TDs. He hasn’t played up to par this year but is dangerous if he gets going.
RB Kendial Lawrence (Sr.) – Lawrence is a compliment back to Franklin’s speed and is dangerous if given a hole. Lawrence had issues against Georgia’s defense because he wasn’t given any holes but if Missouri’s offensive line gives him holes, ASU’s defense could be in for a long night.
LB Zavier Gooden (Sr.) – Gooden is the captain of the defense and leads the team in tackles. He is great at wrapping up the offensive player and last year against ASU, he led the defense with nine tackles in the Tigers’ overtime loss.
How will ASU’s QB Taylor Kelly handle the pressure in Columbia? – I don’t think Coach Todd Graham could have wanted anything besides what Kelly has done in his first two starts. He has taken over leadership of the offense after Brock Osweiler departed for the NFL draft. After two games at home and now traveling for his first road game, how will Kelly handle his offense with the loud crowds in Columbia?
Will Missouri be able to respond after a disappointing loss? Missouri made the decision two years ago to move over to the SEC. In their first game in the SEC, Missouri was completely outmatched and made lots of mistakes against Georgia. Will Missouri be able to bounce back or will their minds still be on the loss last week?
Matchup to Watch
QB James Franklin vs. ASU’s Defense
Franklin will be the most experienced quarterback that ASU will have faced all year. ASU has been able to contain the quarterbacks that they have faced so far this year but Franklin is not your average quarterback. Franklin will have some big runs but the key for ASU is to limit them.
Recap of ASU vs. Illinois
Quarterback Taylor Kelly was consistent against completing 18/24 for 249 yards and one touchdown in ASU’s 45-14 blowout of Illinois last Saturday. The player of the game was TE Chris Coyle who had 10 catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns. The defense forced three turnovers and held the Illini offense in a game that was pretty much over early into the third quarter.